Decision papers provide boards with the data they require to understand, form and make the important decisions that determine the future of a company. But if these documents are not properly written, they can be overwhelming in both detail and length, resulting in poor decision making.

Keep your board papers short and succinct. Directors generally have a limited time to i loved this read your papers and they also might not have the same understanding that you do, so it’s crucial to avoid excessive operational details. You should use clear arguments rather than lengthy explanations and only use factual information instead of opinions.

A good structure to a decision paper begins with the background of the issue that needs an answer, and then leads directors through your argument, covering the links to strategy, risks and financial information. This structure is similar to a traditional story and helps directors understand the perspective of your company.

In addition, you must provide an assessment of the potential risks that could impact the outcome of the decision and also indicate if there are any issues that are currently in relation to the proposal. This section is a vital part of a paper for a decision and will provide directors with confidence that the information they’re reading is valid and up-to-date. It’s recommended to have informal discussions with some of the board members who will be reading the paper BEFORE they meet to ensure that all relevant information and points are taken into consideration. This will allow you to determine what information needs to be included and, if necessary, discuss with the board possible outcomes or alternatives.

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